Healthy Helpings

By AFM Staff – January 1, 2017
illustrations by Eleanor Grisebaum

Flu Season

The year you were born may predict your risk of getting the flu. According to a new study conducted in Asia and the Middle East, those born before 1968 are less susceptible to the flu than people born in 1968 or later. Researchers found it was because the older group had already been exposed to a similar strain of the modern flu as children. The study suggests that the type of virus that you are exposed to as a child can determine your immunity to different flu strains later in your lifetime.


Pedal to the Metal

Skip the walk to work and get pedaling. Two new studies found that regular biking to work, as well as for fun, can lower risk of heart disease. As little as 30 minutes a week can yield health benefits, such as lowering your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


Traveling the World of Dyslexia

A study published in the journal Science suggests that the severity of dyslexia has strong ties to geography. Researchers say that where a dyslexic is raised (and the language spoken there) plays a large role in the disability. Italy, for example, reports only half as many diagnoses than the United States, where around five to 17 percent of the population has it to some degree. The English language’s notoriously fickle spelling and phonetics are largely responsible for this discrepancy. 


LOL… Laugh Out Labor?

Expecting moms nationwide may soon have more pain management options during birth, with the revival of laughing gas as an anesthesia. Hundreds of American hospitals are utilizing nitrous oxide (laughing gas’ scientific name) as a safe, reasonable alternative to epidurals. Although it does not act as a painkiller, it induces a sense of relaxation and calmness, while allowing the patient to be fully aware of the birth process and present in the moment.


Length of New Year's Resolutions

75% Maintained resolution through the first week

71% Past two weeks

64% Past one month

46% Past six months



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